tv Quadriga - The International Talk Show LINKTV May 21, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
why are they fleeing? who are the migrants and what provokes the desperation that we get into these kind of folks? >> there are quite a lot of people and we're talking about 7,000 people and most of them have fled. they have been living there for a long time and they recognize them as official minority. they don't even have election -- they don't have voting rights and allowed to have only two
children and along with them you got to remember there are refugees in bangladesh and they have joined in the influx where they have been picked up by smaller boats which are like fisher boats. they're not really getting attention and brought out into the high sea into bigger boats and taken to thailand by lots of groups who are asking for money or selling them off as slaves and getting money from the relatives and being sold as slaves. they're trying to boycott the fish coming out of thailand. that's more or less the situation right now. >> until this agreement that was reached on wednesday, the various countries in the region were saying, no, we're not going to take these people in. in fact they were said to be towing the boats back to sea
after water and food. your statements as i said earlier called for migration overlead. because they're perceived as economic migrants and people who are looking for a better life, but these people seem to be fleeing for their lives. >> most refugees always flee for their life. it's not that those people usually just to find riches somewhere else. you can show people always go if there is no way to survive at home. so it is an ideological concept that they were looking for a better life. it's almost always a question of survival. now when i said that it is something cultural, i meant that we speak about just certain people. that's just nothing. that's more or less a village. indonesia has more than 130
million inhabitants. so what is just 7,000 people? nothing. it's being regarded as a dangerous group and that's something you have to deal with politically. and it's not an economic question at all. >> i'd like it talk about another cause we focused on a great deal with the european crisis with refugees and it certainly is at work in southeast asia namely human trafficly trafficking. a crackdown helped to prompt this latest crisis. >> well, i think you're right in there, but i think the one -- the states that are taking or not taking these refugees in only one part of this that is to blame i think you have to look at well to the sight where these
refugees come from. and i think there is a big difference between the africa which is our problem now because people are crossing the mediterranean and asia. this is a state that does many things to try to come back into the international community. they want to be seen as a state doing reforms giving -- paving the way to democracy and they have to be taken into account as to what is happening to their minority and it's not only that we have to deal with the consequences and look at the source of the problem as well. >> let us in fact then take a closer look at the people who are being persecuted there. >> they are a muslim minority in predominantly buddhist state. the state does not only recognize them but denies them citizenship. most live in poverty and have
very few raoeugtights. nearly 1 million live near the bangladeshy border. some 28,500 people have fled. >> our president doesn't like muslims. says he will put us in jail or 20, 30, 40 years. >> they've been the target of motivated violence. in june of 2012 whole villages were torched during unrest. >> the u.n. said they're the most persecuted people in the
world. it's a cliche but many people in the west think of buddhism as a religion of tolerance and peace. and the leader there as a noble prize winner as a person of peace. explain the paradox. how can this be occurring? >> it has been a very peaceful country, but it is also very complex society with more or less 135 recognized minorities that live there. in 1982 there was a law which prohibit -- they're not recognized and defranchised and not supposed to vote and have all the restrictions and buddhist movement that is trying to prop you will gate -- they're trying to take over and coming
over from they say they're not people who have been there for a long time and this has been happening quite a lot. there is a popular sentiment by the muslims and widely being perceived that there's not a lot of popular sentiment for them. on the other hand, they're being cautious because this is a year when collections are supposed to take place and she wants to be the president and she doesn't want to talk against them and she has said if i talk on behalf of them now, they maybe -- they come under more persecution and that's why i'm kind of holding back. but this morning her members have been forced to take a stand and has been appealing to the government to do something about them and to kind of be
compassionate. >> the question here and it's the same question we pose when we look at the middle east is this really about religion or is it about power and politics? >> it's about power and politics because you have to remember it has a lot of other problems between casting the votes and lots of rebel groups are operating at the border. the across the chinese border there was bombardments and also the th a i border has been very sensitive. even the military doesn't have control. one thing i can think of when things come to normal they can only survive if they have loose system which takes care of the problems of all the minorities and that could be one of the solutions maybe. >> we did see some concession today.
you said in your opening statement that i quoted more pressure needs to be brought and you just said that here as well. do you think it was the pressure that has brought those concessions and do we need to keep it up? can we really change the internal politics that why just described? >> i think that's hard to say whatever the motive has been and perhaps i should add, it's not only pressure, it's more than. it should be more engagement by the western conference or international community. by regional organizations there's this group of states that sees it as a role model for many things and certainly for trade relations. they should act -- they are members of this group as well so they have a responsibility to take refugees better at sea but again they have responsibility
to talk to them as well and we have the responsibility to help them to sort out these problems that might get worse to and worse. maybe they're just scapegoats who have internal struggles and power struggles. if nothing is done this could escalate in many ways. when the dictatorship loses its grip of the country, it has to be replaced by sound and stable other institutions democratic institutions we and worse. would like to see that can deal with these problems on a more peaceful and conciliatory way. so often holding back and acting when it's too late. perhaps we need a finer sense of what we can do there. >> not only the west of course but also the countries in the region. neither participated in the talks that were helderier this week and as i just mentioned they have now made a concession
or two. they've said they will go to a regional meeting on the 29th of may but they said they'll only do that if nobody puts the game on them and if nobody calls the people them row hinge tkpwas. we're supposed to call them benning gal hraoez. >> that sounds crazy and it is crazy. when it comes to the potential influence of the western world the basic problem is that many of the problems that are caused in a way by the western world when most of them settled by the english when they were the colonial power 150 years ago and the same implies to the way to syria. what you can see there colonial colonial -- when it came to border lines and so on are unfolding. it is kind of in a way of course i agree that the western world
should somehow engage and try to solve the problem. but in a way it's paradoxical to think the western world should solve problems that can caused itself. >> isn't there a point where countries own their own problems. colonialism was a long time ago. >> it was just 60 years ago. it's not as long ago as the second world war and germans still feel responsible. >> we would credit ourselves that we were the ones that applied 50 or 100 years ago. so if you don't like the term the west, then we can say the international community, whoever, but there has to be some out of force helping them
out. >> perhaps give us a bit more insight on why governments in the region have been so reluctant to take real measures to try to get at the roots of the crisis or at least to help those who were at sea? what's behind it that we've seen? >> we have to remember that the governments in the beginning pleaded very pleaded and very human approach and they were given food and shelter. to start with it was a nice gesture. these people arrived and not only are they coming to it, it's not like the governments are the prime players who really take part in the government. and here it's just a spontaneous thing that came out from the
people and you also have to remember they're majority countries and sentiments are very high. so they're fleeing persecution so that also played a role and we heard that the african company, wants to take over all the refugees if someone can bring them there and help them settle there because they're muslims. but that also kind of plays a role. and both thailand may malaysia and indonesia also have problems. thailand has in the south it's on muslim insurgency. so they're cautious about accepting muslim refugees what that would mean for the balance of power and in the nation. they've been veriful malaysia there are a lot who live there, they're economic migrants who
have been sold off as slaves and legal refugees so they don't want to have a big change. for them it's not 7000 people. if the gate opens, they're scared that 1.3 to 1.5 million who live right there as refugees, what happens if they get encouraged and come in masks and go to raid the countries. >> as you just mentioned while the governments were tkeutsdzerring, the fisherman were taking into their own hands. let's take a look at the people who were the first to offer compassion to the refugees who were adrift. >> indonesian and malaysian fisherman are acting. they have been helping the refugees. when they find people they bring them on board and give them water and food. and fairy them to shore.
many of these migrants are completely exhausted. under the suspicious eyes of the authorities they received further care. the malaysian coast guard has been keeping the boat people from reaching the shore. now politicians have been forced into action. the foreign ministers of the affected states finally met. >> indonesia and malaysia agreed to continue to provide assistance to those 7,000 irregular migrants still at sea. we also agree to offer them temporary shelter provided that the settlement and process will be done in one year by the international community. >> the problem is that they don't want the my grants back. for the refugees that means their odyssey could be far from over. and you're watching quadriga refugee crisis. where is the compassion?
well clearly there was some on the part of the fisherman, but the neighboring states have not shown a whole lot of compassion. if you listen to the terms of that settlement that were just described, temporary shelter repat traeugs within one year in thailand have taken any of the refugees. is this a workable solution? >> it is not. that's the problem. what could be a good solution because it's true that the neighboring countries are afraid once they take in some of the refugees even more might be coming and in the end they have about a million refugees coming. i think the only possibility would be an international solution not a western solution because we're part of the problem and of course it would be easier if some money was paid. because people would not have the feeling that these refugees
are an economic threat. usually they are not. we have lots of migration and it's much more important than refugees. refugees are a very small minority when it comes to international migration. in a way it's completely -- people are afraid for something they don't have to be afraid of but perhaps it would ease the process if you gave some money so they have the feeling we're being paid for being hospitable. >> the question of whether shelter and rescue can act as an incentive for more to come. the operation on the mediterranean that was stopped because it was rescuing people was stopped partly because some countries like britain said this will be an incentive to leave and try to cross the mediterranean. do you think that's right?
>> i think that's true. but this is a fact that doesn't leave you and encourage you to draw conclusions. you have to rescue the people that are in peril at sea you and can't ignore it by just not going where they are drowning, because otherwise you're guilty as well. so, we have to pick them up and bring them ashore. this is -- we can't stop doing this because we're thinking it's we'll act and bring more people to us. but i think yes, i mean refugees on the southern shore of the mediterranean are there for all kinds of reasons. there are syrians fleeing in their own country and people from sub is a hair ran africa and they collect money to pay the trafficker to bring them to europe in the hope they'll be
rewarded by money that is sent back some time. the hope is they'll make it to europe and if they make it they are setting an example others will follow. >> are you sure that it really is a pool factor. you told people are fleeing desperation and for their lives. are they doing a cost benefit calculus before they get into boats? >> most of them clearly go because they do not have any survival chance at home. if you see that about a billion people have not enough to eat you and have only 50 million refugees. you can see immediately that most people stay at home even in very dire situations. those who go are those who are mostly very, very desperate. of course there are some cases like those villages in africa who collect money in order to make one of them abroad. but even then they're very poor and have no other possibility
and secure their future. when it comes to europe of course we could take in lots of migrants without suffering. germany needs about 5,000 migrants every year just to remain stable to have a stable working force because so many baby boomers now retire that we do not have enough employees anymore. so 500,000 is a lot and even with all those refugees that we had to take in, still we do not reach this limit. so we could really invest in a way in migrants. but we don't do that. but not for economic reasons. people always think it's something about sharing their wealth but that's complete nonsense. this cultural fear is irrational. that you somehow lose your germanness or whatever. but i mean that's the pact.
>> maybe it's irrational but i think you can't teach society there and say to the politician look, you have all these silly fears. they are completely unfounded and that's why we'll settle i don't know how many migrants next to your door. if you do that you create social right riots. it has the bear limits to what you can do even if you know you should do it because of economic or humanitarian reasons. >> i want to come back to the question of settling refugees. but perhaps a brief look in a bit more detail at efforts to stop them from even getting into boats. i asked you earlier about the role of traffickers. in fact there was an effort recently in southeast asia to crackdown on traf imingficking.
they left their charges in the boats to drift and drown. what can be done against trafficking? it's a question here as well when we look at the crisis in the mediterranean. >> yeah, they're very smart and come from all the countries we're talking about bangladesh, thailand and all of them have their local bases. they know how to deal with the people and how to bring the people their smaller boats which pick up the desperate people and hand it over to the next people and a fixed amount of money. and they found out how much is paid and every time each one is handed over and handed over in thailand where they're handed over what that means and who are the people who they can make money out of rather as slaves or as somebody who could bring in ransom from the families with whatever little money they have left.
this is a structure going all across this problematic area and i think the states are still not really in a position, even if they wanted to or had the good will to crackdown on these traffickers. it's more important to fight the cause in the state maybe not just a question of money but also to teach the people how to deal with this threat. you think these are outsiders. maybe some sort of project which makes it easier for them to live while they are there and convince the authority that assure them as well they'll be with them and engage with them and make sure they're not really actual and that will never happen. as long as if you can keep the there in their own land in whatever little means they
require, that would be good for traffickers. if you make legal immigration possible in europe, you don't need the traffickers because nobody will go to them. if you have a way of getting it done. >> it's like the argument in europe saying we need better development development efforts so people will is stay where they are. those are very, very long term prospects and a big short term crisis. >> again it depends on the region you're looking at. i would say you can have success in a more easy way in asia and in the region we are talking about today and i would agree if you look at africa, you clearly need a longer term approach. because when you look at some northern african states like libya there is no government
left there and that's not a state anymore in our conventional way we are thinking of states. and that's one of the reasons why the europeans are so keen to show some state and legal action in this suggestion to go there and destroy boats of the traffickers because there is no other authority that can do anything to stop the traffickers from trafficking. i'm not sure it will prevent any refugees coming or being sent out to sea. it for me it's quite a helpless sign. but it is a sign politicians would like to set to calm the opinion in their own countries in europe >> many people say we're facing a new age of migration and the world has been through great waves of migration before. but are we prepared and ready and willing to handle this as we
perhaps were at other times in human history? >> it's kind of a paradox of the europeans who settled all over the world in north america, south america, australia and new zealand and eradicated the original people and now think they cannot take anyone after having settled the whole world. it is not an economic problem. germany alone needs about 500,000 migrants every year. >> if i hear what all of you are saying we're talking about a major governance crisis. so the age of migration goes hand in hand with age of bad government. >> small problem relatively small problem is being made worse by the government. because here it's the villagers
and towns that are somehow responsible for housing the refugees. for them it's of course a surplus expenditure that they don't have any money for and the towns and small communities they cannot somehow decide to have new taxes or to take on lones or debts. that's not allowed. but the national government could pay for all the refugees without any problem. but they don't do that. so now we have the discussion on the local level about communities that are not able to house the refugees they send to them. everyone in germany has this idea, these refugees are very expensive and a big problem. but the problem is being created politically and that is -- now of course because the communities don't know what to do it's always in the media and the whole topic gets bigger and bigger and bigger without being big. in the 90s germany integrated
more than 2 million refugees or migrants from russia and it was no problem at all. bass they were treated as engineer germans and integrated. >> you outlined the difficults faced in germany but the fact that germany has taken in a great many of migrants than any other pureeuropean union. let's look at that. >> just five countries among them italy, germany and sweden are taking in over half of the refugees but in the future a quota system is meant to spread it more evenly. it set criteria to distribute 20,000 refugees to the countries. but the plan is running into serious opposition. some key countries like britain and as well as poland and hungry
have rejected a quota system. >> is this a real solution to the question of what to do about the refugees? certainly germany feels it has born a disproportionate share of the burden. on the other hand, she says germany could take in a whole lot more. >> we like to be seen as good europeans especially if there is a solution that lifts some of the burden we're taking off our shoulders. so the compromise that had been reached or the proposal the european commission has made is that refugees should be distributed within the union according to the population numbers, numbers of unemployment and other figures. and that would mean that we
would have to take less refugees in the future than we did in the past. so of course we're happy. there are many other country that's would have to take more. they tried somehow to bow out or find excuses why they don't have to come to the table or be part of the agreement. that's all normal politics i would say. there's nothing special you can find this many areas of politics where things go according to these mechanisms. the only difference here is that we're dealing with real people in distress and there's a moral area to this or moral platform. when you're standing at this and going you feel taken aback and ashamed. >> you did say in the statement that i quoted at the outset of the program we need to take the sense of cultural overload
seriously of immigration overload. the fact is there's rising immigration sentiments in almost every country in the european union. your arguments are based on economics and valid but clearly they're not coming home to people. >> you really of to take seriously that it is a cultural problem and not an economic problem. >> what does that mean? >> usually it's being treated as an economic problem. being are being told if you take all these refugees it's going to be really, really expensive and we can't afford that. it's all about cultures and fears that somehow you could lose control and all these foreigners rule your country and whatever and they to be taken seriously. if you want to take them seriously one important fact would be i think two things, first is we have a great inequality within your europe. there are very many poor people
and few rich people who almost own everything. if you have this inequality people at the bottom fear they might suffer if foreigners who come in and take their jobs. it would be much europe to accept foreigners if the equality within the countries was greater. so i think you have to do something about the inequality in europe and you have to somehow find political solutions that make it possible that the issue of of migrants is not every day, every day and every day on the front page of the newspapers. once this tomic is permanently in the media people think it's a big issue and problem and we are being overrun by refugees and we must stop these refugees from coming. >> i would like to disagree. that is a bit off topic now. in societies that are more unequal than germany is, for
instance great britain, think they have less problems taking in migrants. there is a certain twist now in recent years, whereas we in germany are quite at least since the second world war we are quite an equal society and level society i would say. we are more -- there's a lot talk about anxieties of having too many foreign people coming in because we don't have -- we want to go everywhere now and feel at home everywhere. when you are in london, there 3/4 of the city you don't dare to go to because that's not your london. that's the london belonging to other people. in a way i think we're in the middle of this cultural problems we are facing from migration. and that's one of the underlying reasons politicians have to deal
with when they make judgments about whom we can take and whom we can't. >> our title asks that question, where is the compassion? you know both cultures very well. this one in the west and also the one in southeast asia. which society is more compassionate of the two? do you see more compassion in the way people here are dealing with migrants than the ones and how they're being dealt with in southeast asia? >> when you talk about the discourse in the media which is about what people think and all the populous movements and make use of this fear so much and the mainstream parties i would think, i would think christian democratic union and all the european countries the movement, the body, they're not really doing their best to educate the people, the electorate or addressing the
issues. whatever the mainstream parties start addressing the issues they go to the left or right which is happening quite lot in europe, mostly to the far right and that is creating problem. on the ground level people are much more compassionate. when it comes to people and even ordinary people in germany they are much more open in terms of the overall a lotment of migrants coming in. most of the problem arises when they don't talk. then of course they say, okay, i don't mean you. i mean other people. the more abstract they are the more threatening it looks like. the eastern part of germany hardly has any migrants at all. that he at place they have the parties getting more votes. you go to the western part of germany they've been dealing
with other minorities for a long time, and all the dealings and people are much more educated and they knowledge from their own experience how these other people are and there's less tension and very much a part of society, integration is complicated. and they have been dealing with each other despite the government. and asia is a very society where the state is virtually nonexistent and people take things into their own hand. they don't depend on the state. it's basically what they think is right so their compassion goes out like in the case of the fisherman. they don't care what the government is saying, do this or do that. they do what they think is right. >> one solution that the e.u. is talking about which doesn't sound very compassionate at all is further militarization of the
mediterranean namely the use of naval ships to intercept refugee boats. how concerned are you that that provides an extremely negative precedent essentially, a signal, also for the rest of the world including southeast asia? >> it will -- nothing will be achieved. the only thing that will happen is that the risk of the refugees will be higher and have more people drowning because they take more risky routes but you can't keep people who are desperate from coming to europe. >> in the late 1970's, we had a boat people crisis of enormous proportions and the world community found a solution for it. that is not happening this time around. where is the compassion? why isn't it happening?
>> very, very different times then and the this time around. refugees you're talking about were very in a me and that was a proxy world war . the communists soviet empire and american west fighting each other. so we had to prove something there and it's difficult to say but refugees then were not seen only -- not even in the first place as a humane tearian problem or need to help. but though were seen as political refugees. everyone of them was proof that the world of freedom was more attractive than the soviet empire. of course we embraced them. and they've proven to be a success as well. one he have them is a chairman of a party in germany so they have marched through the society in our country and i hope that